Member for almost 4 years

  • Novel: Barefoot
  • Genre:
  • 600 words


Author: Boothie


I'm approaching this as entirely free form. I have an idea of where I will start and how to proceed but where it leads will be unknown to both of us until we get there.


The first thing he remembered upon waking was the loud chirp of a cricket. He had been dreaming it was a car alarm that he couldn't get away from no matter how far he walked. As he awoke he also became aware of the taste of bile in the creases of his throat and a dripping from his strangely stuffy nose. He went to wipe away the dripping and before he realized the crystalline crust under his nose was dried blood his hand made contact with his now broken septum. This caused him to start which silenced the crickets surrounding him as he lay naked on the desert floor.

As he rolled his stiff neck from side to side he could see an expanse of low desert shrubs and the refection of mica in the sands from the now low moon. He tried rolling onto his side but the first time he told his body to do so nothing happened. He tried again and bruised muscles protested as he brought his arm and leg over from the position they were in. Using his elbow as a lever he slowly eased into a sitting position. This brought more pain and an urge to vomit. From his position he could see above the shrubs. A cool breeze caressed his face but it felt as if bits if glass were pelting the pummeled skin instead. What he saw was not encouraging either.

Instead of the off side of a desert suburb or the scar of a highway all he could see was long low alluvial plain in one direction that extended to the horizon. In the other direction the sharpened teeth of desert mountains composed completely bare rock protruding in shapes and angles man could never replicate. Or climb.

He wasn't thirsty yet, mostly because of all the fluids from his injuries draining down his throat. He wanted to spit but knew that would hasten his demise. So he suppressed his gag reflex and swallowed whenever the fluid became built up.

At this point as he was thinking he did not know where he was or how he had gotten there. Suddenly he realized he did not know who he was. He looked at his hands as if they held the secrets of his life. All he saw in the lunar glow was blood crusted around his nails and in the creases of his palms and fingers. The question remained. He probed his mind but it was as if that storage area was locked to him. He pictured himself a desperate man throwing himself against a wooden door with a frosted glass window. Rattling the handle and banging on the counterpane with his open hand.He knew the memories were there but could not grasp them.

Frustrated he decided he must begin walking in the hopes movement would spur his memory. He decided that since water ran down hill and he could not see the tell tale urban glow over the ranges behind him that it would be his best bet to go down the plain. He stood up. But too quickly. This time the nausea was accompanied by dizziness and a darkening of his vision.. He stood at half mast for some moments before he straightened at the waist and lifted his head above his heart again.

His first step a stone cut into the arch of his foot. His next step he eased his foot down slowly as to not further injure himself. And the next step. And the next.